KMK Caps Off 5-Year Litigation with Important Jury Trial Win
Kohner, Mann & Kailas, S.C. (KMK) is pleased to announce that, after more than five years of litigation, its client (Universal Processing) emerged victorious.
The action is Universal Processing Services of Wisconsin, LLC, v. Hicks, et al., Case No. 14-CV-7986, pending in Milwaukee County Circuit Court. One highlight of this case came in 2017, when KMK successfully convinced the Wisconsin Supreme Court to vacate not only the order appointing a Special Master/Referee but also over a year’s worth of rulings the Special Master/Referee had made. This was an important, ground-breaking decision that protects the constitutional rights of all Wisconsin litigants to ensure they have their claims adjudicated by a democratically elected judge in a court of law.
After remand from the Supreme Court, KMK prepared the case for trial, fighting off multiple summary judgment motions and over a dozen substantive pre-trial motions filed by the Defendants. In January 2020, KMK tried the case in Milwaukee County over the course of 11 days of testimony and argument, one of the longest civil trials Milwaukee County has seen.
At trial, Universal Processing sought to establish that it had proper cause to terminate its contract with the Defendants, and that the Defendants had improperly interfered with Universal Processing’s contracts with its customers. In addition, Universal Processing sought to defeat the Defendants’ $17 million counterclaim, which alleged Universal Processing breached its contract with the Defendants and interfered with the Defendants’ contracts and business relationships with other companies.
The jury deliberated for just over an hour before returning a verdict in favor of Universal Processing. The jury determined that Universal Processing had acted appropriately in terminating the contract and that the Defendants had wrongfully interfered with Universal Processing’s relationship with its customers. The jury also rejected the Defendants counterclaim, awarding them nothing.
Litigation can be a long and uncertain path. Success requires tireless dedication and a strong partnership between client and counsel. It was this strong partnership between Universal Processing and KMK’s litigation team (Robert L. Gegios, Ryan M. Billings, and Melinda A. Bialzik), working together over the course of half a decade, that provided the foundation for this excellent outcome at trial.
The attorneys in KMK’s Business Litigation group have successfully represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of litigation spanning many industries, including bet-the-company matters. If you or your company are involved in a business dispute, you should retain legal representation as soon as possible, even if a lawsuit has not yet been filed. Contact KMK via email or call (414) 962-5110 to find out what we can do for you.
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Founded in 1937, Kohner, Mann & Kailas, S.C. (KMK) is a leading law firm with a global reputation for success and a rich tradition of results, providing legal expertise in business and financial services, business litigation, and commercial collections. Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s Best Law Firms, KMK is headquartered in Milwaukee, WI. For more information, visit www.kmksc.com.